This Sunday, April 2, marks the ninth annual World Autism Awareness Day, where individuals and organisations around the world do their bit to help raise awareness of some of the challenges faced by individuals with autism and their families.
It is a day dedicated to increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder and advancing research into causes and better interventions.
And this month, the team at MSB have undergone training for how to better support specialist needs for clients, customers and employees with autism.
In a film launched last year by the National Autistic Society (NAS), challenges faced by autistic people in the workplace were brought starkly into perspective. Managing partner at MSB Paul Bibby says it gave him real food for thought on how we should be adapting as a society in order to become fully inclusive and ensure skills are not lost.
With the help of Autism Adventures, MSB have committed to making sure their workplace is autism-friendly.
Autism Adventures is a community business enterprise that provides training to help businesses adapt to better support employees and indeed customers living with autism and promote the concept of Liverpool becoming the world’s first autism-friendly city.
Founder, Julie Simpson says: “My son Joe has autism and I always wanted to be able to give him the same opportunities as other young people.
“We also want businesses to understand that simple changes can help create a more autism-friendly environment – giving clear instructions, sensitive feedback, constructive performance reviews and regular reassurance can really help overcome some of the anxieties faced for autistic people in the workplace.”
Managing partner at MSB Paul Bibby said: “Working with Julie and the team was certainly an eye-opening experience and encouraged our team to consider our client experience from a different perspective.
“We now understand that life for people with autism is far more sensory than it is for others. Sounds, colours and social interactions that seem normal to most of us can be a big challenge and can trigger melt-downs.
“We have learnt ways to adapt our language and behaviours in order to deal more effectively with individuals with autism. Simple things like desk screens, noise-cancelling headphones or a more secluded location in an open office can make autistic employees more comfortable.
“We have found it has been a huge benefit for us working with Autism Adventures as what we have learned can help us not only alter how we might deal with employees with specialist needs, but also our customers, which is very important to us.”
Support World Autism Awareness Day this Sunday by wearing blue or for more ways to support visit https://www.autismspeaks.org/liub/how-to-liub
For more information on how you can be involved with Julie and the team at Autism Adventures visit http://www.liverpoolautismadventures.co.uk/